Why is software so hard? Our civilization runs on software, yet the art of creating it continues to be a dark mystery, even to the experts, and the greater the ambitions, the more it seem to fail. Scott Rosenberg tried to answer this question by taking us inside the Open Source Application Foundation, a software startup by Mitch Kapor (of Lotus Development) to follow what was supposed to be their 'one year race' to a brilliant new kind of software. Five years later the project is still in development, with no release in sight. Through this story we can learn about both a unique and troubled project and also a brief history of the software industry, complete with very real characters such as Alan Kay, Donald Knuth and Mitch Kapor.